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Aliens Dropship and APC


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Coming on nicely.

Having seen your work lighting the starfury are you going to light the dropship bay & front lights?

Also watch out with the wings I seem to remember endlessly gluing them back on as they're on butt jointed to the body.

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No I won't be lighting it, I think there is enough to do without driving myself insane here :)

I have a cunning plan to avoid that problem with the silly joint to the missile pods...

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Nice work with the APC, especially considering how small it must be, I'm sure it looks bigger in the photos than in reality?!

Sounds like the Drop Ship will be a challenge with all the scratch-building, I'll be watching for tips!


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Only progress to report from last night is the hole has been cut. The cut-out is being saved to make the roof of the APC bay. There is some complex bodging required at the front where other pieces will intrude into the APC bay, so a bit more cutting to come I think. No photos, more later I suspect :)

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Small update but a lot of building!

As I reported yesterday, cut open the base of the dropship for the APC bay. Today I did a lot of measuing up to get the right sizes for the internal panels and cut these from a pasticard sheet I got from Evergreen labelled as "Metal Roofing" It has ridges cut into the sheet and comes with thin plastic ribs to slot into the ridges. It was frankly a bit of a rip off, much more expensive than I anticipated because it was only when I got it home I realised there was only ONE sheet in the packet! Anyway this was cut up and the ribs added along with some bits of old Spitfire from the spares box and voila...


It is of course upside down!

Here is anotehr vidcap of that view into the bay when they are getting ready early on in the movie


You will probably only be able to see the back wall of the dropship once its in the diaorama so concentrated on that area. The front bit will need trimming so that it fits under the forward body curves. Also had another look at the section of the movie where the alien gets into the dropship. You see Spunkmeyer blimb back into the APC bay and see the ribs and funnily enough it loosk like the internal colour of the bay is green, either olive drap/olive green or possibly even cockpit green considering how dark it is...


Edited by Kallisti
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and so it continues with the progress from yesterday.

Because of the APC bay, I've had to cut a hole in the piece that represents the forward slope of the dropship


so that it fits over the APC bay



Note how the front of the bay slopes down to try to fit. Sadly this still wasn't enough and I had to trim several mm off the bay to get it to fit comfortably




While sorting this out, I've been thinking ahead to fixing the missile pod arms and to this end I've added some reinforcing to the inside of the attachment point with some milliput


This will give me something to drill into to to make a solid anchor when the time comes.

Once this was settled I realised I'd missed off the walkways that run down either side of the APC bay. These are visible in the scenes with Spunkmeyer coming back into the dropship and discovering the alien slime. So its back to the trusty Meccano spares box for some more steel mesh:


You'll notice I've also give the internals a coat of primer.

I then began looking at what to do with the missile pods. I think I'm going to have to scratch build the internals of the pods and add missiles made form cocktail sticks as these seem to be the right diameter. So to this end I started cutting up plastic card to line the inside of the slot to take the missiles. I also removed the larger missiles for the forward pylons off the sprues, cleaned them up and drilled out the rear to represent the exhaust port.

The last thing I did last night was to glue the front section to the main body. This is the bit that contains the slot for the lower part of the cockpit and (take note) the headlights. So I glued that on and added some filler to the bottom seam and left it overnight.

This morning, I realised I had not done anything with the holes for the headlamps!!! Dammit! So the scalpel had to come out and undo the gluing that was done last night. Thankfully no damage was done to the pieces, but its bloody annoying all the same! Today will be sorting out something to put behind the headlights - I won't be lighting the model, so it will me something reflective only.

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Funnily enough I was thinking that yesterday :) I mean in my future I see a Challenger ARRV conversion with the Accurate Armour set, a Scimitar with resin up-armour extras PLUS bar armour converted from a cheap Accurate Armour set originally for the Challenger that I got off ebay. I guess the Miss Demeanour Hawker Hunter build that is next up after this one for the Hunter GB will be sort-of straightforward at least as far as the building will be concerned!

I've still got to make a start on the base for this one - I've started the research for that (aka watching the movie!) and I think the steel mesh will come into play again for that alongside some alien-looking rocks.

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Thanks :)

Well this was a turn up for the books! I went out to the garage this afternoon to get the lawnmower out to cut the grass (in March - jeeze!!!!) and next to the house connecting the house to the garage we've got a shed/lean-to thingy and when I opened the door I almost tripped over a stack of boxes that the postman must have delivered a couple of days ago and never bothered telling me. Most of these were things my GF had ordered for the upcoming birthday party for the little one, but one package was the ejection seats and cockpit PE I had ordered last week:


I've put the crew figures there as well. This is why I don't usually do 1:72 stuff - its all frigging tiny!!! Definitely not going to be able to show Cpl Ferro in all her glory! Well maybe it won't be noticed - those fatigues are very baggy!!

"Spunkmeyer? Goddammit! Well where the fu..."

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Well that fortuitous discovery this afternoon changed my plans for the building today - with so much lovely resin and etch details I couldn't resist having a go at the cockpit! The two bang seats are marvels of tiny cast detail. How I'm going to paint them I'll never know - I think I might need a more powerful magnifying lens in my visor!


I had to move the front seat back quite a distance to fit a pilot in along with the console. There is an instrument console to the pilots left which is built up from scaps of plastic card and etch and the rear seat's console is built up on another couple of plastic scraps with etch details stuck on. The figures had to loose their feet and the pilot had to have his lower legs amputated to fit under the console but this won't be visible. In fact truth be told most of this won't be visible, but I'll know its there :)


A couple of etch pieces have been attached to the sidewalls of the cockpit body itslef. It all fits together into a very cramped cockpit


But that seems appropriate from what you see in the movie. So now to add some paint to this lot! I must admit this was huge fun - building something that only had to conform to a vague layout snatched from very brief glimpses allowed space for creativity and just fun!

Edited by Kallisti
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Bit of painting tonight, that cockpit needed finishing off...



and this is why I don't do 1:72 anymore - this looked okay with eyes and magnifier, but zooming in with the camera and it doesn't look half as good :)

Pilots getting some paint too


and you can see the ejecrot seat handles in yellow as well. There was another but it just disappeared somewhere! If it more than 5mm wide I'll be surprised.

Finally in this update, the canopy. If you look closely in the last pic on the previous post you'll see the canopy. It has some scratches on the surface meant to denote the canopy frame.Well I don't think thats good enough so having masked it all up, I'm layering some Mr surfacer 1000 to represent the canopy frame.


Dunno if it'll work but I'll never know unless I try! Oh and I almost forgot, the APC bay got its Olive Green paint and some dark wash.


I am trying to sort out the headlights as well, but I keep getting distracted with the cockpit. Missiles soon... oh boy!

"Hot as hell in here"

"Yeah man, but it's a dry heat!"

Edited by Kallisti
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Of course now I've just relaised that the back of the APC bay is too dark! You can see in this screencap that its a sort of grey colour


Now whether that is just the lighting form inside the bay (which I don't have) or whether its the real colour of that "face" bit in the wall I don't know. All I know is that mine will look too dark, so might have to change that to make it look similar...

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Of course now I've just relaised that the back of the APC bay is too dark! You can see in this screencap that its a sort of grey colour

I think thight might be an optical illusion. When I started mine (years ago now), I seem to remember coming to the conclusion that it was all interior green in there. Check out the end of the movie, after they've landed the Dropship inside the Atmosphere Processor. As Ripley exits the Dropship, after speaking to Hicks, she runs past the rear bulkhead. That's where I did the freeze frame thing to check it out.

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You are right - I'd forgotten about those scenes later in the movie, thanks for reminding me. There are some interesting shots there that give more detail, but I'm not sure I'm going to do anymore detailing in there. It did remind me about the ladder as well however. That will be retraceted in my diorama as the APC will have just been deployed.

Lots of small bit done tonight: painting the pilots faces and helmets, fixing the silver reflectors to the headlights, preparing the missiles for painting, lining the inside of the forward missile pods with textured plastic card to give it more texture, another coat of mr surfacer on the canopy, fixing the headlights into the forward body, drilling a hole through the angled joint of the missile pod to add a short bit of brass tube to give the joint strength. This tube has been cut to size and epoxied into position. Once its set I can use that to align a second hole and rod to secure the leg properly. Then it will be the same on the other leg.

No photos this evening, just some writing... hope I haven't bored you :)

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No progress this evening I'm afraid - been rebuilding the IPMS Farnborough website as I have foolishly volunteered to take over as their webmaster! We shall see some progress tomorrow though...

Allright, sweethearts, you heard the man and you know the drill! Assholes and elbows!

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...and we're back!

After a couple days break things are starting to happen again. First off, the missiles (except the ones that will be in the wing pods ) have been primed


Now one of the problems that is often reported about this model is the joint between the missile pods and the main body, or rather the LACK of a joint. Out of the box its expected to just attach the pod to the side of the body with just a plain flat plate. This is of course inherently weak as the forces on it just from gravity will break the joint. To avoid this problem I have come up with a solution:



3mm holes drilled into the face of the missile pod arm that joins the body and into the body itself. Then insert a short bit of 3mm brass tube and araldite it in place. The Milliput on the inner surface gives the joint a better anchor for the rods to journal into. I'm not sure if I might leave the pods detachable whenit complete for ease of transport. I think this might just have to wait to experiment once everything has set and solidified completely.

Also, headlights done with silver foil:


Pilots got a black wash which has made them go all shiny!


and the canopy is slowly being built up layer upon layer. I hope this works because if it doesn't I am well and truly screwed :)


I've got a couple of days off next week so I am hoping to make some progress this weekend, so watch this space!

"Somebody said 'alien' she thought they said 'illegal alien' and signed up" "F*** you, man! " "Anytime, anywhere!"

Edited by Kallisti
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Well today is a bit of an "oh bugger"!

Last night after I realised just how shiny the pilots were, I looked out the Tamiya flat base jar and put it aside tor today to mix with a little Klear to make a decent flat coat. First hing this morning, while not fully awake I decided to go ahead and give the pilots their flat coat, but instead of mixing with Klear I gave them a coat of flat base! The result:


which is AFTER they've been cleaned up somewhat! bottom!

Going to need to think about this one!

In other news, work has begin on the forward pylons. These have inside faces that are hollow and very boring, so lets fill them up a bit and give them some interesting texture...


Okay so it doesn't come out in the photo very well but I've added strips of Evergreen "Metal Siding" sheet to give it a ribbed appearance. I'm also replacing the very plain and boring strut that provides the mount for the missiles (the green oblongs at the back right in the photo) with scratch built ones from the same "Metal siding" plastic.

Thats all for today, more tomorrow when I might be able to sort out the pilot disaster!

That's great, this is really great, man. Now, what the f*** are we supposed to do? We're in some pretty poo-poo now, man!

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Been a funny couple of days - spent most of yesterday uploading about 600 photos to the galleries of the new IPMS Farnborough site so didn't get as much done to the dropship as I would like. Then today on my day off I ended up doing a load of gardening since the sun was shining! Tomorrow I'm hoping to be able to pay a visit to the REME Museum in Arborfield just down the road from where I live.

In the meantime, some progress has been made. First off, the pilots have been repainted to solve the chalky problem. I'll be more careful next time!

Next I have rebuilt the missile pods, removing the moulded detail and scratch building my own:


Next we need something to fit IN the missile pods, so 32 cocktail sticks have sacrificed themselves! First step was to cut them to length, then one end had to be rounded to represent the nose of the missile. I am still not decided how to do the back end. The moulded detail shows fins at the back, however the Colonial Marines Technical Manual shows these as straight tubes and the illustration key implies that these are launch tubes with the rockets inside and no fins!

In the end the definitive answer comes from a screencp:


That shows fins on the missiles, most noticable on the right pod. Sigh, thought I might have got away with that. I'm really not sure what to do here, we are talking about 128 small fins. That thought freaks me out!

Edited by Kallisti
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I do have a question for anyone who has already built this. I came across these parts listed in the instructions but can't find them anywhere on the sprues:


What is interesting is that there are OTHER part numbers 45 and 48 that are nothing to do with this. Also note that the numbers are not inside circles which denotes plastic parts (transparencies have a square), so where do these come from? As it stands anyway I'm scratch building those as well!

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